In-flight entertainment: The best books to read on a plane

Much like aviation, the best books allow us to escape to almost wherever we want to go. It can be difficult to allocate time to reading while balancing work, family and social commitments, but travelling offers rare opportunities for uninterrupted downtime – especially if you’re flying private.

There are several reasons why a plane is the perfect environment to pick up a page turner. You’re less likely to feel like you’re missing out on doing other things while spending time in transit – which could be several hours depending on your destination. And if you find travelling tedious, those hours will fly by in the company of a skilled author.

What to read is another question, however. Inspire your next journey with our picks of the best books to read on a plane below.

Personal growth guides

Far from time wasted, long flights can present opportunities to touch down as a better motivated, inspired or more well-rounded individual. You could harbour goals to be a better leader or thinker – or perhaps to be more attuned to your inner thoughts. Whatever your objective, you’ll find a wealth of transformational reading material to support it.

Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic of the genre that details simple practices for maximum efficiency and success. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now meanwhile offers guidance on living in the moment – and being happier and healthier as a result.

Another iconic self-improvement book to read on a long flight is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, focusing on working and communicating with others. Pick a topic that speaks to you and start your growth journey in the air.

Travel books

In-flight reading can also help you build up anticipation about your destination. Whether you’ve planned every last detail or booked a trip spontaneously, books about your location offer a glimpse of the culture, places and people you’ll soon be experiencing.

You could flick through up-to-date guidebooks to draw up your perfect itinerary or study phrasebooks to help you leave an impression on the locals. But turning to travel stories based on your destination or written by local authors could really get your pulse racing.

Bill Bryson’s Down Under is a best-selling ride through Australia, while Gregory Roberts’ Shantaram tells the fictional story of a convict escaping to India. More modern reads include Monisha Rajesh’s tales from Tibet, Canada and beyond in Around the World in 80 Trains.

Look for stories written on your destination and see what insights you can pick up before you touch down.

Fiction classics

Of course, if you truly want to escape, there are countless fiction classics that could make any critic’s list of best books to read on a plane. Perhaps there’s a renowned title or author you’ve been meaning to get around to for years – or a modern classic you’ve neglected until now. Your next flight could be your chance to see what all the fuss is about.

The likes of Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Orwell are British wordsmiths that stand the test of time. You can find the best examples of their genius in the BBC’s definitive list of the 25 greatest British novels.

Or are you looking for slightly more contemporary tales? Zadie Smith and Kazuo Ishiguro are two acclaimed British voices who are still writing, among many others. Pick up a classic or two and while away the hours.

Inspirational memoirs

Alongside the world’s greatest storytellers are those who deserve to have their stories told. From childhood sporting or musical heroes to world-changing visionaries and leaders in your field, countless inspiring individuals have put their lives to paper.

In the business arena, Steve Jobs’ complex biography and Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike are two modern hits. In sports, Andre Agassi’s Open scores points for its tell-all nature. Or could historical figures such as Anne Frank and Malcolm X be your ideal in-flight companions?

Choose an individual who means something to you and spend your time in the clouds reading about the events that made them.

Escape it all with the VistaJet library

Having transported private individuals to over 1,900 airports in 96% of the world’s countries in utmost luxury and comfort, we know a thing or two about in-flight entertainment.

The onboard VistaJet library is an expertly curated collection of some of the best books to read on long flights and offers titles for all tastes and ages, from poetry lovers to children. It’s just another part of our ultimate cabin experience that’s complete with plush seating and no distractions. Where better to get lost in a good book?

Get in touch with our team today to book the perfect flight experience to complement your next read.

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